Tales of a Night Walker
By Bert McKenzie
Copyright 2010

Chapter 28

After the production company released me from my contract, Craig and Peter
made all the arrangements to have me flown to London where I would start my
film career.  My new interest in Craig was suddenly smashed.  I asked if he
would accompany me and he said he could but would rather not leave his
girlfriend that long.  So he was straight and wouldn't be interested in me.
It hurt a bit but was a good thing.  It was time to do the job and then
retire from humanity.  I had no desire to continue getting involved with
these people.  My heart may be immortal, but how many times could I survive
the feelings of loss.  Vladimir promised to come for a visit before the
filming ended.  He told me he would show me around Europe and I could see
what life was like in the old world.  "Much more civilized than you will
find here in the colonies," he remarked.

"Vlad, you need to get with the times," I said with a laugh.  "These
haven't been colonies for over two hundred years.

"I was two hundred years old when they won their freedom from England.  I
still think of them as rebels," he replied with a smile.

The flight to London was uneventful.  I took dark glasses, gloves, a wide
brimmed hat and long coat.  All of these were provided by Craig and had
been specially `insulated' with some sort of thin aluminum.  I was able to
avoid most of the sun staying indoors and eventually ended up in a hotel
for one day before catching a connecting flight to Italy where they were
filming some of the location shots.  All of my script called for night
locations and I was fairly pleased in the knowledge that I would be able to
perform this part of the movie without compromising myself.  I had to laugh
at the irony of the film.  I would be playing a vampire from America who
ended up in Europe.  I was to be an older vampire, teaching a young one how
to survive and of course avoid the vampire hunters.  The good thing about
playing a vampire meant that all of the scenes would be filmed at night or
indoors.  My co-star had a few scenes in the sunlight before he is
transformed, but those wouldn't affect me.

Peter and Craig had assured him before I left that the film company had
been apprised of my severe allergy to sunlight, so they wouldn't be
surprised if I had any daytime meetings, and arrived in hat and gloves.  As
it happened, my first meeting was in the late afternoon. They were filming
in the ruins of an old castle in northern Italy.  I met with the producer,
director and cinematographer and was then bustled off to my own personal
trailer.  It was more of a lounge area for me to relax between takes and
meet with friends.  I was taken to another trailer for makeup and by the
time they were satisfied with my look, the sun had set and I was able to
walk to the wardrobe area without worrying about covering up.

I met my co-star on the set.  Terry James was also fairly new to films, but
had done a few other pictures as well as some modeling in California.  He
seemed very outgoing and friendly.  He was excited to meet me and told me
that he had seen me on Broadway in my show just a month ago.  He was in a
layover on his way to begin filming the earlier scenes of the movie and had
taken in the show so he could see the man he would be acting with.  I asked
why he hadn't come backstage and introduced himself, but apparently Terry
was a bit shy and also a bit overwhelmed by the idea of appearing live on
stage.  He seemed to hold me in high esteem for being able to act in live
theatre.  We quickly became friends off camera which only added to our
chemistry when the filming began.

"But what have I become," Terry asked as the cameras rolled.  We were in an
old monastery, hiding from the vampire hunters

"A creature of the night, like me," I replied after a pause, I turned
toward my friend as a camera dollied in behind him.  "I'm sorry to tell you
but you'll never see the sun again, never look at a green meadow with
brightly colored wildflowers, never hear the laughter of children at play
on a summer's afternoon.  We are condemned to spend eternity in shadow,
living off the victims we can lure into the darkness.  Never knowing love,
the tender kiss of a sweetheart, the gentle touch of a soul mate.
Outliving our families, seeing all about us whither and die."

There was a long pause with total silence.  Everyone seemed frozen.
Finally the director yelled.  "Cut!"  The entire company broke into
applause.  Terry ran forward and hugged me.  "That was wonderful," he said.
"It was so moving, and how did you get the tears like that?"

A makeup person rushed in to dab at my eyes, not wanting my tears to spoil
my face. "That was great," the director said.  "Now let's set up for a
reaction shot from behind Jeff.  Terry. see if you can get tears as well."
By the fourth time they ran the scene and the director was satisfied with
it, I was a bit bored with the lines.  I no longer felt the spontaneity
that had pulled the emotions from me.  But I had to wonder if the writer
might not have experience with my condition.  His writing was a bit too
close to home.

After the evening's filming was finished, Terry asked me to go out with him
for a drink.  I declined, thinking it wasn't a good idea to fraternize with
the humans.  I had learned my lesson with Tony, and Frank and David before
him.  Although being gay and loving another man was possible in this new
age, I was still a creature that had to live beyond the boundaries of
humanity.  But Terry was very insistent.  "Come on, Jeff.  I really need a
buddy here.  You and I are just about outnumbered by the Italian extras and
I feel kind of alone.  What could one drink hurt?"

Feeling a need for companionship as well, I finally agreed.  We ended up in
a small tavern and had a difficult time making our wishes known until a
young girl who spoke a bit of English helped us out.  Terry ordered a
Scotch but all the place had was beer and wine, so we both ended up with
wine.  I drank very sparingly, knowing that the drink would probably not
agree with my converted system.  We both sat in a corner, ignored by the
other locals in the tavern and spoke together, first about the film and our
work on it, then about the director and crew, and finally about acting in
general.

"How did you get those tears on that speech?" Terry asked.  "It was like
you were really the character and knew how he felt about living so long and
being separated from humanity."

I smiled a winsome smile and said, "Sometimes I can really identify with
that loneliness.  Do you imagine what it will be like to live forever, and
see all you love die around you?"

"You lost someone recently, didn't you?" Terry remarked perceptively.

"Yes."

"Who?"

I sat silent for a few minutes, thinking back about Frank.  I thought he
and I would be together forever.  I had even thought about converting him
so we could stay together throughout the years.  But that was a long time
ago.  I finally said, "My lover.  He was murdered some time ago."

"Oh, I'm so sorry," Terry breathed quietly.  "I didn't even know you were
gay."

"There's a lot you don't know about me," I laughed softly.

"I know you're twenty three years old and this is your first picture.  I
know you have a weird allergy to ultraviolet light and you're on some sort
of restricted diet because of it.  The caterers said they had to order some
weird stuff for your dressing room and that no one has seen you eat off the
buffet or snack tables.  In fact," he went on, "this is the first time I've
ever even seen you take a drink of anything, even water."

I was a little shocked.  "I'm kind of surprised you are that aware of what
I eat or drink," I replied.

"Well," Terry confessed.  "I've been watching you closely.  You see, I kind
of have a crush on you."

I pulled back, stunned, first that this stranger developed feelings for me,
and second that he would admit it so openly.  "I'm not sure that's a very
good idea," I replied.

"Oh come on," Terry said.  "You're 23 and I'm 28.  We're both of age and
able to make our own decisions.  If you're worried about the publicity,
look at where we are.  No one in this little place would ever even notice."

"You're 28?" I asked.  "But you are supposed to be younger than me."

"Well in the first place 28 is quite a bit younger than 500 if we were
really the ages we are playing in the movie.  But I've always looked
young," Terry responded.  "They have me playing a 20 year old in this film.
But back to what we were talking about.  Are you worried that someone will
notice us together?"

"It's not that," I answered.

"Then what?" Terry asked, reaching across the table and taking my hand.
"Oh, babe, your hand is so cold," he exclaimed as he tried to rub it
between his to warm it up.  "Just like the vampire in the movie," Terry
laughed.  He then had a startled look on his face as if he began to realize
something.  "Wait, you don't eat or drink, you're allergic to sunlight and
you are really cold.  I know what this all means."  I sat stiffly in my
chair.  Here was the moment that Terry would run screaming into the night.
But instead his face broke into a wide grin.  "You're a method actor!  What
some guys won't do to get into their character.  So you're living like a
vampire to feel how the character feels.  No wonder you were so in tune at
the filming.  I really admire you, but I just couldn't do that.  It takes
to much energy."  I relaxed a bit.  My co-star seemed to think this was all
an elaborate act to make me a better performer.

"Well, you caught me," I laughed.

"But how do you get your hands so cold."

I laughed, "Months of practice, and I've always been cold blooded." We
stood to leave but Terry almost collapsed on the floor.  His legs didn't
seem to want to support him.  I felt guilty for not drinking more and
making my friend drink less.  I wrapped an arm around Terry and partly
carried, partly guided him out the door and back toward our hotel.  Once
inside the man all but passed out.  I carried him to his room but was
unable to open the locked door.  I thought for a moment trying to figure
out what to do.  I could easily break the door and take him in, but then he
would be in an unlocked room all night and probably be charged for the
door.  So I carried Terry to my own room.  I opened my door and brought
Terry into the room, dropping him down on the bed.  I stepped out onto the
terrace for a moment, inhaling the scent of flowers climbing up the
trellised walls below.  It was a lovely night.  I thought of Frank again
and wished I had someone to share my first trip abroad.  It was indeed a
lonely existence.  After a while I turned and stepped back into the
bedroom.

Terry was lying on the bed, totally naked and looking expectantly at me.
"What is this?" I asked in surprise.

"What does it look like?" Terry answered.  "It's a seduction."

"I thought you were drunk.  I thought you had passed out."

"The thought of making love to you has revived me," Terry answered and
reached out for me.

But I resisted.  "Terry, I think you had best get dressed and go back to
your room."

"Why, are you afraid of what you might do to me?  The big bad scary vampire
alone in a room with a helpless and naked victim," he joked.

I came over to the bed and sat beside the other actor.  "This is no
laughing matter.  I can't do this.  We can't do this."

"Why not?" Terry asked and sat up quickly, throwing his arms around me and
kissing me.  "Oh, your lips are cold too," Terry said in surprise.

"I know.  So I've been told...repeatedly.  Now please..." but I got no
further.  Terry kissed me again and began to run his hands under my shirt.
I couldn't resist and returned the kiss.  It slowly became one of genuine
passion.  The burning at the back of my throat intensified and I slowly
sank back onto the bed with Terry in my arms.  I moaned in pleasure as
Terry pushed me onto my back and began to unfasten my jeans.

 "Your lips may say no, but this says yes," Terry said after pulling off my
clothes.  "Do you have a condom?" he asked.

"No," I said and pulled back for a moment.

"Oh, what the hell," Terry said after a moment's thought.  "Just do it.
Take my ass.  I want you inside me."  The sex didn't last long.  It was too
intense.  All too soon, Terry screamed in pleasure.

We lay there for a minute, enjoying the afterglow.  "Man, you are better
than I dreamed," Terry said, kissing my throat.  "I really wish we were
vampires so we could do this forever."

I rolled over onto my back with a sad sigh.  "You would grow tired of it
and need someone else soon," I replied thinking of Tony.

"Is that what happened with your lover?" Terry asked.

I turned my head and looked at the man I had just made love to.  Terry was
propped up on one elbow, and he ran his hand slowly over my chest, rubbing
small circles over my nipples.  "For a human, you are remarkable
perceptive," I said.

"For a human?"

"I mean...I mean for a man," I tried to cover.

"So tell me what happened to your lover."

I looked at the ceiling and sighed, thinking back all those years to David.
"He was my first.  I had never done this with anyone before him.  I thought
we were in love.  No, that's not fair.  We were in love.  But, David," how
it hurt to say his name even after all these years, "and I ran into some
very bad va...men.  They broke into our house when I wasn't home and they
murdered him.  I never had the chance to say goodbye or to tell him how
much I loved him."  Even after forty years I still felt the tears run down
the sides of my face.

Terry leaned over and kissed a tear.  "I'm sure he knew," he said and laid
his head on my chest.  We stayed in this position for a bit.  Then Terry
sat up, looking at me.  "Why can't I hear your heartbeat?" he said with a
wide-eyed stare.  "Now that much of a method actor you can't be."  Terry
fell back with his ear pressed firmly to my chest.  He listened intently
for a moment.  "I ... I don't hear anything!"  He then sat up and grabbed
my arm, holding my wrist firmly.  "There's no pulse.  What are you?"

I sat up.  "I was just as surprised as you are now when I found out that
there are many things in this world that we know nothing of.  Many of the
legends and stories are real."

Terry backed up, his eyes wide in fear.  "You ... you really aren't just
acting."

"No, I'm not.  And I'm really not just 23.  I'm a bit older than you are."

"How old?"

"I'm 195 years old.  I was born in 1800."

Terry collapsed back into a chair.  "You really are one of them.  What we
are playing in the movie.  You really are real."

I nodded.  "It's actually a relief to have someone else know.  What will
you do with my secret?"

"If I tell will you kill me?" Terry asked.  Then a thought occurred to him.
"Will you kill me anyway?  Am I going to die?  Is that how your last lover
was really murdered?"

A profound sadness came over me.  I shook my head but I couldn't answer for
a moment.  Although I didn't murder David, or Frank, or even Beorn or Tony,
they were all gone because of what I am.  "Of course I would rather you
didn't tell anyone.  But if you must, then I'll either deny it, or I'll
have to move on.  I'm not going to kill you.  And I didn't murder my lover.
He was killed by another...of my kind, someone who did that just to hurt
me."

"You really drink blood?

"Look in the refrigerator," I said.  Terry stood and opened the little
hotel refrigerator to see several bottles of bright red liquid.

"So you don't go out and kill people?  You just have it brought in already
bottled?"

I managed a laugh.  "It's pig's blood.  I've only killed a very few people
and then it was in self defense or to protect someone I cared about.  I
don't want to be a monster."

The fear in Terry's eyes was slowly replaced by wonder and then excitement.
"Wow, this is so cool," he said in awe.  "And can you fly?  Can you turn
into a bat?"

"No," I said.  "There are a lot of misconceptions about the real truth.
I'm just a different kind of person from you.  I may not be human, but I
can't fly or turn into anything different.  Oh, and before you ask, I can
be photographed and I show up in mirrors."

"Well, I'm glad about the photography or this movie would pretty much be a
bust.  But you do have that sun thing..."

"Yes, there is that," I replied.

Terry began to walk around the room in excited agitation.  "I can't believe
it!" he said.  "I can't believe I was just fucked by one of the real
undead.  I mean you just shot vampire jizz up my ass."  He suddenly looked
worried.  "What will that do to me?  Will I become a vampire now?"

I had to laugh again.  "No, I don't think so.  It didn't do anything to my
last lover."

"But you don't know," the actor said.  "After all, he's dead.  Or maybe he
isn't."

"No, actually he's still alive," I replied sadly.  "My first and second
lovers were murdered."

"Crap, does that mean someone is going to come after me as well?"  Terry
fell back onto the bed beside me and put his arms around me.  "I'm so
sorry.  I'm being insensitive.  It's one of my biggest flaws.  I can tell
you must have loved them."  He hugged me, leaning his head on my shoulder.
"How many lovers have you had over the centuries?"

"In the first place it hasn't been centuries.  That's the movie script,
remember.  In the second place, I haven't asked you how many men you've
taken to bed."  I felt a little uncomfortable by some of Terry's questions
about my past loves.

"I guess I'm gonna have to get used to this body temperature of yours.
Man, you really do feel cold.  I guess that's the dead thing.  But it will
be nice sleeping with you in the summer."  He then pulled back a bit.  "You
don't...you don't sleep in a coffin, do you."

"Not in about forty years," I joked.  Then I thought about what Terry had
said.  "Wait a moment.  You have to get used to me, sleeping with me in the
summer?"

"Well if we're going to be lovers, sure."

"I think you're moving a bit fast," I said, concerned about my friend's
enthusiasm.

"But if we're going to be lovers..."

I looked at him in surprise.  "We're going to be lovers?"

"Well who else is going to look after you?  I mean someone has to watch out
for those vampire hunters while you're in your coffin.  Oh, right, no
coffin.  Well then, while your, whatever it is you do, during the day."

"Actually I have an organization that takes care of that," I replied,
thinking back on Craig in New York.  Terry just laughed and began kissing
me.  We fell back into the bed, our bodies beginning to react to the
passion again.  After our second round of love making, Terry fell asleep
with his arms around me.  I lay there, deep in thought.  I knew this was
all going too fast.  I was afraid that the young man I had just had sex
with was only infatuated with me because of my vampire nature.  It was a
novelty.  It would pass.  I knew I didn't want to let my heart be that
vulnerable.  Then I laughed a chagrinned laugh at myself.  What heart?

 

 

 

 

 

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